The place “to be – and to be seen”!

How lucky we were to have brilliant weather for the short voyage with my sister Julia who was visiting our boat Sunday from her home near London, England!

First day out!
Catching up after a long time!

We set off from Didim Marina with our sailing buddies Sue and John on S/V Catabella. The weather was glorious and the sea calm and a wonderful deep blue.

How lucky we were to have brilliant weather
We set off from Didim Marina with our sailing buddies Sue and John on S/V Catabella

On our way to our first anchorage – Kıyıkışlacık, we went past several fish farms which smelled pretty disgusting but are hopefully a more sustainable way of producing sea bream and sea bass than traditional commercial fishing methods.

We went past several fish farms

As we approached Kıyıkışlacık we felt thrilled to see once again the ruins of the Byzantine fortification tower looming out of the water at the entrance to the anchorage.

The ruins of the Byzantine fortification tower looming out of the water

Once we had safely anchored in this beautiful place we went for a look around the village.

S/V Sunday and S/V Catabella safely anchored at Kıyıkışlacık

Although Jonathan and I had already spent an excellent few days there earlier in the season, it was still great to have another opportunity to explore this lovely spot.

Beautiful crabs on sale at the fantastic
fresh fish shop

As we wandered we came across a group of community minded villagers painting murals on the public toilets, the pharmacy and other walls around the village. It was lovely to watch them work together harmoniously with the sounds of Pavarotti in the background.

A group of community minded villagers painting murals on the public toilets, the pharmacy and other walls around the village (above and below)

Later, when we went past the painters again there was a chap playing a stringed instrument which I think is called a baglama. Whatever it’s name, it created a great atmosphere!

Music while they worked

One of the nice things about Kıyıkışlacık is that it is still very rural and hardly touched by the tourist boom that before Covid hit, had wrought such changes to nearby Bodrum and other coastal towns.

Kıyıkışlacık is still very rural and hardly touched by the tourist boom

In this village, life carries on as it has for centuries, with fishermen arriving back at dawn with their catch, farmers driving their tractors through the village and cows being walked through the streets and milked by hand.

Tractors are a common sight in Kıyıkışlacık
We saw lots of cows
We even saw them being milked by hand

We were thrilled to show the others around the ruins of ancient Iasos including the agora, the bouleuterion (theatre) and the portico.

The ruins of Iasos
Julia at the top of the stairs that
lead to the bouleuterion
Photo op in Ancient Iasos

Although they aren’t outstanding in any way, the ruins are atmospheric and for us, definitely worth a second visit.

Julia at the top of the bouleuterion
Meanwhile at the bottom John and Jonathan take a rest

We enjoyed our sundowners aboard Sunday in the sunshine that evening and a little later we watched the brightest and reddest of full moons rise.

Julia and I on board Sunday (photo credit Sue Done)
Sundowners on Sunday
The amazing red moon rising

The following day we visited the remains of the Roman Villa where on our previous visit we had seen some marvellous mosaics.

One of mosaics in the Roman villa
Another of the mosaics

This time the work on the shelter over the mosaics had been completed and some of the most elaborate and impressive mosaics had been covered over, presumably to protect them from the winter weather to come.

The shelter over the mosaics had
been completed
A room in the Roman villa

The views from the top of the hill where the crusaders built their fort were magnificent and well worth the climb.

The views from the top of the hill where the crusaders built their fort were magnificent
We could see our boats at anchor
Ruins of the Roman dock area
Getting back on board Sunday (photo credit Sue Done)

The following day we set off for Tükü Bükü which we had been told, was the place “to be and to be seen”! Sometimes described as “Turkey’s St Tropez” – probably aspirational rather than rooted in reality – it is definitely favoured by the more “well-heeled” traveller.

Indeed, while we were there we saw three massive and luxurious-looking mega super yachts anchored together and observed the coming and goings with one of the tenders which was larger than our entire boat and which was stalked closely by another security vessel.

One of the mega super yachts with its
tender in the foreground

We saw the delivery of copious bouquets of flowers and wondered what sort of event was going to take place.

The tender on the way to picking up copious bouquets of flowers

It turned out that the largest of these three mega yachts – Firefox – (the 14th biggest in the world) was said to be owned by Jeff Bezos and the event taking place was Bill Gates’ 66th birthday party!

Sunday on the left with Firefox to the right

Not sure why but we weren’t invited to the shenanigans! A little disappointing but we made up for it by having a glorious Turkish breakfast at a beautiful waterside restaurant before we left this prestigious location.

We had a glorious Turkish breakfast at a beautiful waterside restaurant

The location was stunning, the weather was glorious and the food was delicious! Needless to say we really enjoyed ourselves!

The location was stunning, the weather was glorious and the food was delicious!

One of the special delights of sailing is the occasional dolphin sighting. These have been very few and far between in Turkey but on our trip to Tükü Bükü we were delighted to spot one in the distance and soon a whole group of them were playing around our bow waves.

Julia spying dolphins ahead of us

They didn’t stay for long but we were so thrilled by their visit – especially as Julia was with us! What good fortune!

“It’s behind you Julia!!“

All too soon, we had to go back to the marina in Didim as we wanted to do a couple of land-based things with Julia before her return to England.

First, was a swim in the marina “Yacht Club” pool. It was too cold for us but Julia braved the autumn chill to add to her sea swimming over the previous few days.

Braving the cool water of the marina pool
Proof Julia swam in the sea too!

We also wanted to take her to the fabulous Saturday markets in Didim before her flight home and then visit the amazing archeological site of Ephesus (but that’s another story!)

Colourful spices at the market in Didim
Love those shiny aubergines
Everything is so colourful
Beautiful bunch of cauliflowers
This market has everything you can think of for sale!!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

4 thoughts on “The place “to be – and to be seen”!”

    1. Hi Jackie, thanks for letting me know! Unfortunately it’s an automated email that goes out when I publish my blog, so I don’t get to see it! I have “write to Jackie” on my to do list so will send you a link when I eventually organise myself. Sending hugs x

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  1. Hi Dot&Jonathan

    Back to our Sunday morning in bed ritual of Salty Tales of Bali Hai ! Oops Freudian slip!!! Sunday…

    We sooo enjoyed this blog for so many reasons…

    My one fingered typing does not allow me to share them all with you today, but maybe when we next meet/speak?….enough to say it showed Turkey, as we remember Bodrum and surrounding area and Skopelos as we remember them from “the good old days” in the early 70s!

    Also good to see you all ( including Julia) in such good form.
    George will try to recreate your “vegetable tray bake”, the Greek equivalent is called Brian/briar/-predictive text!!-briam- this evening with a cauliflower and a 🎃 pumpkin ( no I can’t go to the ball!! and wondering whether Hallowe’en is celebrated in Turkey?!) and various other vegetables 🥗to go with a half shoulder of lamb, from my cousin Elisabeth (and husband David’s) organic and homeopathic farm!

    Wishing 🤞the rest of your Advent Sunday is peaceful and relaxing,

    Love and hugs 🤗

    Sally&Joerg/Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie 🥧 😘 😚 x🤗x

    Sorry about the “childish”-Jack is going to be best man at Billy Childish’s the welknown artist? wedding 💒 in London in April-references, but we were looking after the grandchildren yesterday!!! X

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    1. PS Sorry think 🤔 the last paragraph doesn’t make sense!!!…
      Jack is going to Hugo,s Billy Childish, the artist, (can’t find the inverted comma at the moment on my keyboard 🎹 haha!) brother’s wedding in London in April, but far more exciting…he and his wife Talita are visiting us from 16th December until 31st December!!! 😀😄👍
      And also as an aside I hope he’s going to help me find the latest Beatles film which is on Disney??!! as I don’t know whether I,ve ever told you but his band got “discovered” by a record producer, who financed them to produce a Vinyl! Yes! record at Abbey Road Stuios!X

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